Subtypes of female adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system
Stefurak, James Ruffus
MetadataShow full item record
The current study sought to explore subtypes of adolescents within a sample of female juvenile offenders. The Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory was administered to 101 female juvenile offenders as part of a screening battery for a court mandated group therapy intervention. A two-step cluster analysis was performed beginning with a Ward?s method hierarchical cluster analysis followed by a K-Means iterative partitioning cluster analysis. The results suggest an optimal three-cluster solution, with cluster profiles leading to the following group labels: Externalizing Problems, Depressed/Interpersonally Ambivalent, and Anxious Prosocial. Analysis along the factors of age, race, offense typology and offense chronicity were conducted to further understand the nature of found clusters. Only the effect for race was significant with the Anxious Prosocial and Depressed/Interpersonally Ambivalent clusters appearing disproportionately comprised of African American girls. Results were interpreted in the context of Theodore Millon?s (1992) theory of personality as well as feminist theoretical critiques of the existing juvenile offending literature (Chesney-Lind, & Shelden, 1989). The Depressed/Interpersonally Ambivalent cluster was observed to represent the segment of girls highlighted by feminist researchers in which girls enter the justice system via status offenses and have significant histories of victimization. The Anxious Prosocial cluster was observed to appear similar to Moffit?s (1993) conception of adolescent-limited offenders, in that few antisocial beliefs, emotional pathology or victimization history appeared prevalent for this cluster. Further, the Anxious Prosocial cluster had evidence of concerns about sexuality and problems with anxiety, both of which may be normative pressures for females during adolescence.